The photo above is a good example of the photography I love to do. Although I like pretty much every type of photography, I really enjoy getting close-up candid shots of wildlife, especially birds. Whether it’s a sweet, little robin singing its heart out or a big, white goose that I know to be especially loud and often aggressive having a quiet, gentle moment before stomping off to annoy some ducks….again!
I also enjoy landscape photography on every scale from a closely framed shot of a tree-lined path to seeing how much of an entire county I can capture in one shot or lots of shots stitched together into a wide panorama. I’m really getting into HDR processing too as it’s usually more practical than carting a load of neutral density graduated filters around on top of everything else I take with me.
I used to take every piece of equipment with me ‘just in case’, but I missed so many shots due to swapping lenses and deciding which combination of gear would get the result I wanted. I’ve now got my standard gear down to two cameras (one with a long lens, one with a short lens), two spare memory cards, a polarising filter and occasionally either a tripod or monopod. If I’m going somewhere to capture a specific shot, I might take more equipment but that’s quite rare. I’ve found that being comfortable, ready to react and tuning in to where I am is far more important for getting a good shot than having all my gear with me.
Despite my preferences for only taking the bare essentials with me, I do have quite a bit of gear and I’ve made some of it for a fraction of the cost of the shop bought version. I’ve made a ring flash adapter, a softbox and a panorama head with full adjustment for the nodal point in any lens and the camera can be mounted in either orientation. Guess what the total cost of all three gadgets adds up to, nope, less than that. Okay, I’ll tell you…..£10. Not bad eh? And they all work as they should, maybe not quite as well as their proper counterparts but considering the price, they work good enough! When I get a chance, I’ll do a show and tell.